How to Ruffle Fondant

By Wendy McGowan

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fondant tools

Who doesn't love ruffles? Let's find out how to make this glorious texture you are seeing everywhere!

Here is a list of what you will need:

  • A cake! Any cake will work, preferably a cake covered in fondant. You can also use a buttercream cake.
  • A Mat to roll out your fondant- I love The Mat System, especially for ruffles and other detail work because the fondant will stay airtight for hours without having to reroll your dried out fondant. It makes ruffles so much easier and faster! If you do not have The Mat System, you want to make sure to keep your fondant wrapped in plastic wrap or in a Ziplock bag, so it does not dry out, then use one color at a time.
  • Fondant- in any color you choose. I chose to make 3 shades of pink so you would be able to see the layers better, and because I love pink!
  • A rolling pin
  • A sharp paring or steak knife that is not serrated
  • A ball tool
  • A foam pad- the larger the better
  • A rolling cutter- this is optional. I personally like to eye ball my cuts using a paring knife rather than spending time making sure I start with perfect lines.
  • A bowl of water with a small paintbrush
  • A pasta machine or attachment to a Kitchen aid mixer. This is optional as well, you can roll your fondant out by hand, just try to make them as thin and even as possible.

Now that you have gathered up your supplies we are ready to get started on the ruffles!

Roll Out Fondant

rolled out fondant

First we need to roll out each color of fondant. If you are working with a regular mat, roll out one color at a time, starting with your bottom layer and keep the other fondant wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.

Cut into Smaller Strips

cutting rolled out fondant

Cut each strip into pieces about 4-5 inches long and 1-2 inches wide. Ruffles are much more manageable in smaller pieces.

Now that everything is cut, we are ready to begin ruffling. Grab your foam and your ball tool.


ruffling fondant

Starting with your bottom color, take one strip of fondant and place it on your sponge or foam board, then using your ball tool, gently run the ball tool along one edge, keeping the ball halfway on the fondant and halfway on the foam. You do not need to twist the ball tool. Hold it steady and gently glide it along the edge of the fondant. This will help thin and ruffle the edge.

gathering the fondant

Once it is ruffled, pick up your fondant strip and begin to gather the side you did not use the ball tool on (the back side of the ruffle). Fondant works almost like fabric in this case.

Once you have it gathered, wet your paint brush with water and paint the area where you plan to place your ruffle. Water works better than alcohol in this case because the alcohol will dry too quickly and the ruffles will not stick as well.

joining the fondant

Gently place your fondant ruffle on your cake and press the back side down to help lift the ruffles up and attach the ruffles to the cake, if you find you have gathered your back side of the ruffle too much, you can always spread it back out. Continue this process until all your ruffles are attached, working with one layer at a time. Since we are working with small pieces make sure the ends of your ruffles match up with the next one. I chose to design my cake with the ruffles going across and up the cake, because I thought it was pretty and a great way to highlight the ruffle technique.

ruffled fondant example

Once you have finished the bottom row of ruffles, start on the second row and then move to the third. For this design you can choose to start at the top of the cake or at the bottom, just remember as you design and start your own ruffle cakes, it can be very important to know where you are going and where you want the ruffles to end.

adding more ruffled fondant

Once you have all of your ruffles on, you can finish off the back side of the ruffles with a strip of fondant or a bead border.

Add a few finishing touches, and you have a fun and beautiful ruffle cake!

You can learn more about making beautiful fondant ruffles with Maggie Austin in her Craftsy class Fondant Frills.

ruffled fondant cake

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